He was all wrong for me
in every conceivable sense.
But he smelled like a synagogue and being beside him reminded me of
the rabbi's chanting and the way he'd pound the palm of his hand against the podium in rhythm;
cedar pews that were still oily to the touch from cleaning products;
rosh hashanah sermons that brought me to tears,
God may be a liar, but he's all we've got.
And so I endured his company--
his insufferable attitude,
his false bravado--
because the way he smelled reminded me of a place I belonged to.